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Guys I couldn't agree more with all the comments. When i think of the assult style rifles in the hunting field I think of the murder that took place I believe in (Minnisota or Wisconsin) a couple of years back. The last time I checked those style of firearms were very expensive. I think one could for the same cost, could have a very nice hunting package put together. No question a scoped 308 would be a great rifle but as stated is the public perception worth it. I have no problem with the legal ownership of military type firearms, but are they the best choise for the hunter, I say there are better options.
That was Wisconsin and not an assault rifle. The gun used was a Saiga Sa rifle which has an action like an AK type but has a hunting stock and a 5 round magazine and looked like a civilian rifle. I hunt with all types of rifles including an AR. If legal in your state they are great as they handle well, are accurate and low recoil, nut do lack killing power. You need great shot placement.
But unless you are a very good marksman, I suggest you use a larger caliber weapon. In my opinion a tactical weapon makes a good hunting rifle for ther same reasons it makes a good tactical weapon. Don't take the opinion of gun snobs too seriously.
It depends on what type of hunting you do, the range you expect to shoot at, and the terrain as well. AK's, SKS's (7.62 mm x 39) are probably not useful over 100 yards if that. The .223 Remington runs out of steam at about that range but is much flatter shooting. Your can get an AR style rifle in .243 or larger now. .308 is a great deer round.
 

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A few days ago, I shot a 240 lb, 14 point buck using a ar 15 with 55 gr psp ammo. One shot to lungs the dropped him after he ran about 40 yards.
Both lungs were mush and the leg on the other side was broken.
 

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I understand that you would be skeptical of the killing power of the .223.
This was my first hunt with it and I was worried for days that I would see a really big buck and not be able to kill him. I just want to report my experience that it did work very well. In fact I loaned my 7mm to my son and his deer went further after a lung shot. He did have a blood trail though. I think he used an elk load instead of a deer load and the bullet went right through. The reason I used the AR 15 instead of my 06 or 7mm was, first, I have a badly damaged back and shoulder, a light low recoil gun is much less painful. Second reason is I had 2 overseas tours using first an M14 (.308 cal) second tour in Nam, I used a M16 as well as M60. While the M14 would make a great deer rifle, I was impressed by the M16. It was very accurate easy to handle and shoot. And more effective than I thought it eould be. To me it is about being able to hunt in some comfort. This year they are legal and I wanted to try it. I am now convinced that with good shot placement, judgement and bullets it works.
Also the tactical vs hunting debate rankles me as I see it as an attempt to divide gun owners with the arguement that the only guns you should have are for hunting only. Our right to defend our life liberty and pursuit of happiness would have no meaning if we are unable to defend it with the weapons needed to do so. I see that as parity with military weapons. I don't see what you hunt with as a problem because I don't think many nonhunters know one gun from another or care. In our state they are cased and unloaded unless in the field or woods so it's a non issue here and maybe a different culture than back east. Ok I didn't mean to get on a soapbax. I'll get off now.
I don't argue with the guy who loves the satisfying thump of a scoped '06 on a crisp November day, with the heart pounding sight of a deer in the scope.
 

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I used Black Hills 55 grain pointed soft points, FMJ are not legal for deer in Minnesota. I was very pleased with the penetration and bullet performance. You do have to be more careful with shot placement as an 06 or 7mm will penetrate
to the vitals from just about any angle. With the .223 I took a broadside shot to the lungs. I intended to hit the heart but also wanted to miss the front shoulder. That combined with he was moving and I had a small opening between trees to shoot, I shot a little behind where I wanted. The deer disappeared without a blood trail. I was pretty worried that I just wounded him but he was dead about 40 yards away.
 
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